Buffalo Bill Blog

Jan
13

New Year’s Resolutions

 

Most people make New Year’s resolutions. Around here, however, we view such promises as cliché and ordinary.

You won’t catch my friends and me vowing to lose weight. If I want to get in better shape I will get more exercise, and I will have so much fun doing it that I will hardly notice the effort.

skiers on snowy mountainIn fact, I am going to head to Sleeping Giant Ski Area on my next day off. I also always think there is plenty of time later to head to that hill, and the next thing I know I have gone weeks without skiing. Therefore, I will set a goal of skiing five days by the time President’s Weekend arrives. There, was that so hard?person climbing frozen waterfall

Since our area has the highest concentration of frozen waterfalls in the Lower 48 states, it would just be a complete waste to not climb some of them. I promise I will call my old friend Kenny Gasch (Ladies, don’t even think about it) and ascend five falls by the end of March.

hikers with backpacks on rocksI have a pretty good record of hiking and riding the trails around here, but the reality is that I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to new areas to explore and discover. I am going to hike 100 new miles of trails, ride another 200 and find at least six new overnight backcountry camp sites.person watching geyser erupt

Here we sit just 50 miles east of the world’s first – and I believe greatest – national park, and we just don’t go there often enough. It seems that I only visit Yellowstone when guests come to see me. Whenever I watch Old Faithful (or Lone Star or Castle or any number of other geysers) erupt, I figuratively kick myself for not getting there often enough. I will visit Yellowstone this winter and then every month once the roads are plowed in the spring.

person fly fishingI love to fly fish, and there are just about as many blue ribbon streams around here as there are hottie fly fishing guides. I will hike to a new stream at least twice each month after the spring runoff slows down enough.people riding mountain bikes in the mountains

I have never been mountain biking, but several of my friends have become hooked. They keep asking me to join them, and this summer I will do just that.

indoor pool with water slideIn order to be prepared for all of this activity, I better do some “pre-training.” All three of the communities in Park County have fine indoor recreation centers with swimming pools and workout centers. I will visit all of them and make good use of the facilities.

I will cut down on the calories I consume.

Between all of that exercise and watching what I eat, I will be in much better shape this year.

Good thing I do not make New Year’s resolutions.cartoon cowgirl

Jan
03

End of the Year

 

I love end-of-the-year articles. Whether they are “Top 10” movies, the best car chases, the Darwin Awards or even the influential people who die, I simply enjoy looking back at the year that was.

In that spirit, I would like to offer my own list of seven significant events for 2013 and happenings in our beautiful corner of the world.

snow plow plowing roadSequestration threatens to delay opening of Yellowstone. In the spring we started hearing rumblings that budget cuts would result in delays of opening some of the roads heading into Yellowstone National Park. Of particular concern was that the east gate would open some two-three weeks later than normal so that the sun could melt the snow instead of National Park Service crews plowing the roads.

In demonstrating a typical Western “Can Do” attitude, a campaign spearheaded by our Chamber of Commerce raised enough money to pay for Wyoming state road crews to plow from the east gate up and over Sylvan Pass until they met the NPS crews working their way toward us.

Prince of Monaco with Buffalo BillThe Prince of Monaco comes to town. In September Monaco’s Prince Albert II came to town to present the Camp Monaco Prize to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his great grandfather’s visit. The first Prince Albert came to Cody in September, 1913 to go hunting at the invitation of Buffalo Bill.

The hunting party camped in the area near Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, Pahaska Teepee at the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park beyond the western end of the Wapiti Valley.

burned trees in Yellowstone25 years since the big fires. It’s hard to believe, but this past summer marked 25 years since the forest fires of 1988 burned hundreds of thousands of acres in and around Yellowstone Park. While it was certainly costly at the time, we learned a tremendous amount about fire ecology, letting fires burn and just what constitutes a healthy forest.

cody nite rodeo logoThe Cody Nite Rodeo reaches a milestone. Everybody loves milestone birthdays, and 75 is always a good number. Our very own Cody Nite Rodeo certainly did not act like a senior citizen as it entered its second 75 years. I cannot wait until he turns 100.

Yellowstone National Park sign with closed sign next to itGovernment shutdown closes the park. This time around there was little we could do about the gates being locked and the park closing. When the deep thinkers closed the federal government, national parks were a casualty. The only good news was that the shutdown occurred at the end of the summer season when many services and most of the hotels inside the park were winding down anyway. Some travelers made their way to our town and discovered just how much we had to offer.

beauty queen holding rifleLocal gal wins national crown. Our own Ashlee Lundvall was named “Ms. Wheelchair U.S.A.” Ashlee was paralyzed in 1999 when she was 16, but that has not stopped her from becoming involved in the Wyoming Disabled Hunters program and enjoying camping, riding all-terrain vehicles and kayaking the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Ashlee is married to Russ Lundvall who grew up in Cody, and the two are proud parents of a two-year-old daughter – Addison.

guests visiting Cody Chamber of CommercePark County welcomes visitors. Okay, so this is more of an ongoing occurrence, but the fine folks of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the rest of Park County opened their hearts to travelers from all corners of the world. Once again we demonstrated that our brand of hospitality is one reason so many people choose to come and vacation here.

I salute my fellow townspeople and neighbors and wish you all a prosperous and happy New Year. I have no doubt that we will achieve our goals together and that we will continue the tradition of making this area a world-class destination.

Until next time, I’m looking forward to a great 2014.

Corrie N. Codycartoon cowgirl with braids

Dec
17

Decorating for Christmas

 

christmas decoration santa driving stagecoach

Okay, so I am a little late getting my Christmas decorations out. I am simply one of those people who like to take holidays one at a time.

I may see a perfect gift in May and buy it, but I typically put it in the back of my closet and not think about it again until December.

At Thanksgiving I like to focus on friends, family and football. In my mind there is plenty of time to prepare for Christmas. And don’t even talk to me about Christmas when the kids are trick or treating.

This year, right after Thanksgiving we had a cold front blow through shortly after turkey day, and let me tell you, it was cold enough that I dug a jacket out of my closet that I only wear a few times a year. This coat is suede with a sheepskin lining that invariably receives comments from men and women, alike. It still looks brand new, and I expect to wear it for many years.

When the front arrived, one of my neighbors casually mentioned that I probably regretted my rule of not putting up my lights until the halfway point between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He had his up weeks ago, including the inflatable Santa, Frosty the Snowman and digital countdown to Christmas calendar.

One thing my neighbor forgets but I always remember is that winter comes and goes here in Cody. My first year in the big city was a true learning experience. In late November the skies turned gray and a damp cold descended upon us. It seemed like it stayed that way for months. In truth, it did stay that way until March.

Around here we see a lot of sunshine. Sure, we get an Alberta Clipper that brings Arctic air our way, but we are just as likely to have the Chinook winds blow in warm air. From a spot up on Skyline Drive I can see golfers getting in a late season round as well as joggers on the path down near the Shoshone River. And up and down Sheridan Avenue I see shoppers heading in and out of some of our famous galleries.

So when the weather warmed up this weekend right on schedule I pulled out my outdoor decorations. My favorites are Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh. Instead of a sleigh, however, I replaced it with a stagecoach. Driving the stagecoach is Santa, of course, but riding shotgun is the snowman from the Rudolph television special. You know, the one voiced by Burl Ives?

I always thought that snowman must have been inspired by our own Bill Cody because of the goatee.

Now that my decorations are up I can focus on my annual Christmas party that am throwing this Saturday night. I will tell you how it went next week.

Until then, I am lovin’ life…and baking cookies…in Cody, Wyo.

Corrie N. Codycartoon cowgirl

Dec
10

Christmas Gifts

 

Now that Thanksgiving is another fond memory of turkey, laughter, broken ovens and unusual uses for plumbers’ torches, I am turning my attention to preparing for Christmas.Merry Christmas sign

I don’t spend a lot on gifts, but I do like to put thought into them. Accumulating a lot of possessions is not important among my circle of friends, and if you quietly observe you can see what people appreciate here.

Every year I make a vow to keep my eyes open all the time in case that perfect gift lands in my lap. Other times I find something that’s perfect for multiple people and have to decide who gets it.

Sons of the Pioneers albumIn August I ran across “160 Acres,” an old album signed by the Sons of the Pioneers. I can think of several musicians in town who would carry my bags through a Black Friday crowd, shovel my driveway all winter and string my holiday lights for that piece of vinyl.

One year I found an original poster that Union Pacific had created to promote visitation to Yellowstone. It showed various bear “tourists” strolling around Old Faithful, poster of Old Faithfuleating picnics and enjoying idyllic scenes of the park. It was perfect for a certain cowboy/Buffalo Bill look-alike in town who collected such memorabilia. How was I to know that he had a new girlfriend who gave him a fake of the same scene?

cast iron skilletI did do well, on the other hand, the year when I walked into an antique store in Powell and found a cast iron frying pan. This was a Griswold #8 with the large logo, slanted letters and heat ring. I gave it to a certain tour guide in town who was so shocked and pleased and happy that he looked like he had been hit on the head with, well, a Griswold #8 frying pan.

Sometimes I manage to score something that’s perfect, but I invariably go most of the year without even thinking about Christmas shopping.

I truly believe that the best gifts do not cost a lot. This year I decided to take several of my favorite spice blends, recreate them and package them along with adifferent seasonings in teaspoons booklet describing different dishes they are best used for. I make a terrific chili blend as well as a lemon pepper seasoning that can be used on most any dish. Some blends are appropriate for meat grilled over an open flame, fried in a Griswold cast iron pan or baked in an oven (if it’s working).

Please don’t tell anyone what I am up to. I hope it will be a surprise.

And if anyone else in town is planning on doing the same thing, would you ask them to wait until next year? I don’t want to cause any more relationship problems.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life and looking forward to spicing it up.

Corrie N. Codycartoon cowgirl

Dec
04

Thanksgiving Wrapup

 

Thanksgiving turkey

Well, Thanksgiving certainly didn’t turn out the way I planned.

My house is always the one where the crowd varies from year to year, and there are times when I invite people and then forget that I invited them until they show up. One year I was driving past an open restaurant and saw a friend heading in for dinner on Thanksgiving. I stopped, made him get in the car and brought him home to join the rest of us.

When I actually know who is coming, I assign everyone to bring various dishes. This year Jackie brought a root vegetable casserole, Emma made an apple pie and William brought three growlers of his home brew.

Michael created a candied yam dish complete with marshmallows on top that he decided at the last minute needed roasting. Do you know those little torches people use to caramelize the sugar on top of a crème brulee? I don’t own one, so we went to the garage and found a torch that a plumber uses to solder pipes. We learn out here in the West to be innovative and that some tools have many uses.

The big glitch, however, came with my turkey. Because the side dishes were covered, all I had to do was cook the turkey and make the gravy.

After brining the turkey overnight, I heated up the oven and put the bird in. On the stove I boiled water and tossed in the giblets. A couple of times the pot boiled over.  I didn’t think much of that, just pulled the pot off the burner and let it calm down.

Unfortunately, the water that boiled over seeped down onto the digital keypad controlling the oven, shorting it out and causing the oven to completely stop working.

No big deal. Here in Cody, we know each other, we look out for each other and we don’t have to go far for help.

Before the oven had time to even cool down, I had called my neighbor and good friend, Lin, who offered up her oven before I even asked to borrow. Lin was having dinner at her nephew’s home and would not even be there, so she just left the front door unlocked and I periodically checked on the bird, which ended up finishing at about the time we estimated in the first place.

After a long and relaxing dinner with enough food to feed the original Wild West Show, some of us headed to the family room and turned on the television where Graham flipped between the football game and a rodeo event. Everybody chipped in on the cleanup, we laughed some more, and eventually everyone headed off into a crisp, clear Cody night with fixin’s for turkey sandwiches.

I hope they remember to return my Tupperware. What will we use for next year’s dinner if they don’t?

Until next week, I am lovin’ life…and leftovers…in Cody, Wyo.

cartoon cowgirlCorrie N. Cody

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